Asian Games: Two bronzes from jins, boxers advance
INCHEON, Korea—The Philippines satiated its hunger for medals with miniscule ripples of two bronzes from taekwondo and the expected rush in boxing on Tuesday that somehow fanned its campaign with only four days left before victorious countries celebrate the end of the 17th Asian Games.
Samuel Thomas Morrison had a good run of triumphs until he was stopped on his tracks by Masoud Hajizarvareh of Iran in the semifinals of the men -72kg of taekwondo, 5-1, giving the Philippines another bronze medal three days after Paul Martin dela Cruz handed the Philippines its last medal—a bronze from the men’s compound event of archery.
Then it was Rona Ilao Levita’s turn to give the Philippines another bronze in the women -49kg when she lost the semifinal round to China’s Li Zhaoyi, 5-1, after scoring two earlier triumphs in the initial rounds.
Those bronze medals somehow firmed up the Philippines’ place at the tail of board with two silvers and four bronzes, counting the earlier victories in wushu.
Wushu artists Daniel Parantac and Jean Claude Saclag delivered the two silvers and Francisco Solis the first bronze that fueled the Philippines’ campaign early into the Games.
But the Philippines remained trailing six other Southeast Asian countries in their unofficial battle for supremacy among SEAG rivals.
Thailand is ninth place in the overall leadership with three gold medals from bowling cycling and golf.
Malaysia is 14th with two golds from squash and one from wushu.
Indonesia follows at 15 with three gold medals in athletics.
Singapore is at 18th place, its bid fueled by a medal each from bowling and swimming.
Myanmar has two from sepak takraw at 18th and Vietnam pierced the gold tab with a win in wushu and is at 20th place.
But those are small waves compared to the swelling of mighty China’s haul, untouchable on top with 199 gold, 75 silver and 57 bronze medals at dusk yesterday.
Host Korea was at far second with 47-53-57 while Japan had 36-49-54.
And the real competition stops there. Not Even Iran nor the once mighty ‘stan’ countries could come close as the regional superpowers made the Asiad their own personal playground.
The consolation the Pinoys have at this stage of the Games are the three sure bronze medals they have so far from boxing and the promise of golden victories in BMX cycling which starts today and the karatedo events if the karatekas come out well starting Thursday.
Mario Fernandez dominated Shiva Thapa of India, 3-0, in their men’s bantamweight semifinal bout.
Mark Anthony Barriga also pummeled Hasemboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan, 3-0, in their men’s lightflyweight semifinal match.
Those triumphs by Fernandez and Barriga put them within shot of the gold medal, along with Charly Suarez, whose chance at the gold medal came after he posted a dominant victory over Ammar Jabar Hasan of Iraq on Monday.
Wilfredo Lopez was still to face his semifinal foe, Shinebayar Narmandakh of Mongolia eyeing the win that would assure him the bronze medal and another shot for the gold for the Philippines.
The rugby team known as the Volcanoes got plastered by China, 14-19, first before it got clobbered by Hong Kong, 0-40. The Volcanoes need to win by 40-50 points against Pakistan today to keep their hopes of landing a medal alive.
The Philippines’ Blu Girls made short work of Thailand, 13-0, in just four innings to claim the No. 4 slot in the semifinals of the women’s softball competition.
The Blu Girls were unforgiving as they primed themselves up for their bid to stopping the runs of Japan, Chinese Taipei and China.
“We beat them [Thais] as expected but we are more focused on the semifinals,” Blu Girls head coach Randy Dizer said. “The players went all out against Thailand, a performance we need for our important game tomorrow.”
Japan got back at Asian championship tormentor China, 4-1, to grab the No. 1 spot in the semifinals, while Chinese Taipei emerged as the No. 2 team following a 6-0 victory that totally knocked host South Korea out of the running.
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